In 1968, the three Regular Irish Infantry Regiments (Royal Ulster Rifles, Royal Irish Fusiliers, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers) combined to form The Royal Irish Rangers, and the LIR became D Company (London Irish Rifles), 4th Battalion, the Royal Irish Rangers, and remained in this guise for the next 26 years. The year before, on 31st March 1967, Lt-Col HB Holt TD, the last Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, London Irish Rifles handed over to Major MJ Van Brugen TD, D Company’s first OC.
Some obvious difficulties emerged in that the remainder of the battalion was located in Northern Ireland and only came together for annual camp. Apart from the Commanding Officer, who made periodic visits to London, little was known about the personnel of Bttn HQ. The role and training of D Company was changed and they were no longer Riflemen. Despite these changes, the Company proved very resilient and managed to maintain its character, inheritance and traditions, and the standards required by the rangers was higher than ever before.